Transcendent Kingdom
Yaa Gyasi

Book cover image

Narrated By: Bahni Turpin

Duration: 8 hours and 41 minutes

What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

From the bestselling author of Homegoing comes a searing
novel of love and loss, addiction and redemption, straight from the heart of contemporary America.

As a child Gifty would ask her parents to tell the story of their journey from Ghana to Alabama, seeking escape in myths of heroism and romance. When her father and brother succumb to the hard reality of immigrant life in the American South, their family of four becomes two - and the life Gifty dreamed of slips away.

Years later, desperate to understand the opioid addiction that destroyed her brother's life, she turns to science for answers. But when her mother comes to stay, Gifty soon learns that the roots of their tangled traumas reach farther than she ever thought. Tracing her family's story through continents and generations will take her deep into the dark heart of modern America.

'I would say that Transcendent Kingdom is a novel for our time (and it is) but it is so much more than that. It is a novel for all times. The splendor and heart and insight and brilliance contained in the pages holds up a light the rest of us can follow' Ann Patchett

'Absolutely transcendent. A gorgeously woven narrative . . . not a word or idea out of place. THE RANGE. I am quite angry this is so good' Roxane Gay

'A stirringly gifted writer' New York Times

© Yaa Gyasi 2020 (P) Penguin Audio 2020


Family life fiction, Modern and contemporary fiction, Narrative theme: Interior life, Narrative theme: Death, grief, loss, Narrative theme: Social issues

Listen to a sample

A piercing story of faith, science and the opioid crisis...Transcendent Kingdom really sings. There's bravery as well as beauty here


A stirringly gifted writer. It's impossible not to admire the ambition and scope of Homegoing

New York Times

Remarkable, a devastating account of America . . . explores horror without ever losing sight of humanity or hope

Sunday Times on 'Homegoing'

A powerful, wholly unsentimental novel about family love, loss, belonging and belief that is more focused but just as daring as its predecessor, and to my mind even more successful

Wall Street Journal

A book of blazing brilliance . . . A double helix of wisdom and rage twists through the quiet lines of this novel. Yaa Gyasi is one of the most enlightening novelists writing today

Washington Post

[A] mightily enjoyable novel

Daily Mail

The range Gyasi displays in just two books is staggering

USA Today

Gyasi's second novel, Transcendent Kingdom, is a very different book, and, I think, a better one - contemporary, personal, acutely focused on a single family, and intensely felt

New Yorker

Transcendent Kingdom is a quietly magnificent novel - vivid, touching and beautifully written, and also unafraid to be, and to remain, really very sad.


I need a book like this to remember what is possible

Perhaps neither science nor religion alone could capture...transcendence, but Gyasi has proved, once again, that a novel can


If you want to know why the world is this way, try this book for starters

Naomi Alderman, author of The Power

Transcendent Kingdom is a novel for all times

Ann Patchett

Among other things [Transcendent Kingdom] is a sharp reckoning with the tensions between race, science and religion...its scope is pared back, its register intimate - not many writers can switch style like this

Sunday Times (Ireland)

Absolutely transcendent. A gorgeously woven narrative..not a word or idea out of place. I am quite angry this is so good

Roxane Gay

Meticulous, psychologically complex ... At once a vivid evocation of the immigrant experience and a sharp delineation of an individual's inner struggle, the novel brilliantly succeeds on both counts

Publishers Weekly, starred review

With deft agility and undeniable artistry, Gyasi's latest is an eloquent examination of resilient survival